The Niagara region is home to a large variety of wildlife, including numerous species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians that can be seen on your travels in the area.
The Niagara region is home to over 300 bird species. Some of the more common species that inhabit the area are cardinals, robins, wood peckers, blue jays, herons, wrens, finches, thrushes, gulls, Canada geese, and chickadees. The chickadee and cardinal stay in the area year round. However, most species, like the purple martin and swallow, converge on the area in late spring and stay until autumn.
The region is also home to many birds of prey, including turkey vultures, red-tailed hawks, sparrow hawks and several species of owls, including the great horned owl, which is the largest owl in the region.
One can also see over 25 species of water fowl in the area, including many species of ducks, the most common being the mallard. The area is also home to the great blue heron, a tall and majestic bird which can be seen along the riverbanks.
Niagara is dominated by the landform known as the Niagara Escarpment, which is a massive ridge that soars 1675 feet high in places and spans some 725 km (450 miles) from Queenston to Tobermory in the Bruce Peninsula. Individuals who are interested in exploring the regions diverse nature will be delighted by the variety of species that can be found on the Escarpment. It is home to over 300 bird species, 53 mammals and 36 different species of reptiles, not to mention hundreds of species of rare flora, including wild orchids.
Bird watchers will delight at the many species that can be seen at Beamer Conservation Area in Grimsby, which is the highest point of the Niagara Escarpment. During the spring this is the best place to see the hawk migration, where you will encounter red-tailed hawks and eagles as they make their journey across Lake Ontario to their summer nesting grounds.
The Escarpment is also home to over 53 species of mammals, including squirrels, skunks, and raccoons. You may also be lucky enough to see white-tailed deer, red foxes, weasels, rabbits, and muskrats while exploring the escarpment and the surrounding area. Mountain lions and black bears were also common to the area at one time, but are no longer a part of the areas ecosystem.
The Niagara region has one of the largest inhabitations of reptiles and amphibians in the country. Several varieties of snakes can be found in the area including the more common garter and milk snakes. The now extinct Timber Rattlesnakes were once common to the area, and where much feared by locals. The last sighting of one of these venomous species was in 1959. There are also many species of frogs, the most common being the American toad and bullfrog. On a sunny day you may spot turtles sunning themselves in marshy areas. The area is home to the painted turtle, as well as its much larger cousin the snapping turtle.